The main university building (photo by: Georg Pöhlein)

Erlangen and the FAU

Scenery of the Walberla Wandering in the Walberla, in the Frankonian Switzerland - about 20 km Northeast of Erlangen (Photo by markusspiske,

The city of Erlangen

Erlangen is a university city (population ca. 100 000) on the outskirts of the city of Nuremberg (Nürnberg). The Erlangen area is famous for its hilly Jurassic landscape with fossil-collecting localities to be found even inside the city, hiking trails, caves, castles, climbing routes, and small breweries. Thanks to a very large international community, many cultural and sports activities are offered in English. You can fly to Nuremberg (NUE) with regular or budget airlines; downtown Erlangen is only 40 min by bus from the airport. Erlangen can be also reached in one hour by train from Munich, in two hours from Frankfurt, and in four hours by bus from Prague.

Photo of the orangerie The ‘Orangerie’ in the Schloßgarten (photo by Laura Albers)

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Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is spread across the Nuremberg metropolitan area. According to the Reuters Ranking 2019, it is the most innovative university in Germany, and the 14th of the whole world. In the „Shanghai Ranking“ of Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2021, FAU belongs to the top 300 universities worldwide.

Our courses and the Faculty of Natural Sciences are in Erlangen, but thanks to efficient public transport, students can choose from a wide housing offer, from lively downtown Nuremberg to countryside locations outside Erlangen.

Photo of the main university building The main University building (photo by Georg Pöhlein)

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GeoZentrum Nordbayern

Photo of the main GeoZentrum building The main building of the GeoZentrum (entrance to Mineralogy)

The Faculty of Natural Sciences is organized into five departments. Our institution, the GeoZentrum Nordbayern (focusing on geosciences), belongs in the Department of Geology and Geography. The Head of department is current Wolfgang Kiessling who is leading the paleobiology program at FAU.

The main building of the GeoZentrum has a very central location, in the Gardens of the University Castle (in the Schloßgarten). Most geology-related courses take place in this building - except most master-level paleontology courses, which are organized by the staff working at the Chair of Paleontology.

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Chair of Palaeontology

For historic reasons, the Chair of Paleontology (Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt) is somewhat separated physically from the rest of the GeoZentrum, and its buildings are spread out.

Main building

The main building (usually referred to as the “Institute”, or just “Pal”) is technically an old, three-strey villa, about ten minutes of walk away from the GeoZentrum, in Loewenichstr. 28. Most of the teaching staff has offices in this building, and this is the place to find our secretary as well. Some parts of the palaeontology collection are also stored in the basement.

The main building from the Lab (photo by Axel Munnecke)
Lab building

Opening from the garden of the main building is the laboratory building (Fichtestr. 8), where most equipment is located, including the rock lab, our Micro Computed Tomograph, MicroMill and Scanning Electron Microscope.

The laboratory building from street.
The "Green" building

Across the street from the main building is the green building (Fichtestr. 12), which has offices that are usually occupied by PhD students and PostDocs, and it also has workspace for master students.

The green building from the main building.

The recently acquired Henkstraße building (Henkestr. 91) is about 5 minutes of walk away from the rest of the buildings. It is a part of the “Medical Valley” and contains some more offices, our discipline-specific library, and our main seminar room.

The entrance to the Henkestraße building (photo by Danijela Dimitrijevic).

Despite the small size of our field, we have three professors focusing on Paleontology, which makes the Erlangen group a unique hub of paleontological research in Europe.

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